- Awarded 2003 Best SUV by U.S. consulting group
- Second Kia vehicle to win VSS award after Carnival/Sedona in 2002
SEOUL 6 April 2003 - Leading U.S-based automotive marketing and product consulting firm AutoPacific has named the Kia Sorento the top mid-size SUV in its 2003 Vehicle Satisfaction Score roundup. This is the second successive year in which Kia has won a VSS award, after the Carnival/Sedona scooped best MPV in 2002. The award contributes to Kia`s growing reputation for providing high quality, good value automobiles.
According to AutoPacific, the annual VSS survey establishes numerical ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the North American market. VSS also calculates satisfaction in 41 specific areas related to each vehicle`s operation, comfort, safety and purchase/lease experience. Ratings reflect input from over 36,000 buyers and lessees of new vehicles acquired September-December 2002. The scores are provided as a free service by the North American Consultancy.
AutoPacific founder and president George Peterson commented, "We`ve been commenting for some time on the need for all of us to recalibrate our thoughts regarding Korean design, execution and quality."
He added, "Sorento itself deserves specific mention. This is a really beautiful vehicle, exceptionally well laid out, designed and equipped. It has a strong and confident presence. It also backs up its brawn with a full ladder chassis, RWD/AWD powertrain, and tangible off-road capability. The Hyundai organization in general, and Kia in particular, are to be commended for keeping Sorento separate and unique from Santa Fe. This way, each vehicle is allowed to pursue its own audience with its own distinct product attributes."
Kia Motors COO Yong-Hwan Kim, head of the international business division said of the AutoPacific report, "This is a very important result for Kia Motors. The Sorento is our top selling vehicle worldwide and exemplifies Kia`s commitment to proving world-class vehicles at exceptional value. The VSS report validates Kia`s fundamental belief - that quality and value can go hand in hand."
The Kia Sorento was launched in February 2002 and reached the U.S. market in October the same year. As of the first quarter of 2003, Kia had exported 38,895 Sorento units.
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.co.kr) is Korea`s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group, the company currently sells more than one million vehicles per year worldwide and maintains a network of distributors that covers 190 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and the international sponsor of the Davis Cup for the Euro/Africa zone.